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  1. #1
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    Greenwood Roadway

    I had never heard of this, but it's fairly interesting to me. Apparently, back in the early-mid 60s, we had a legit, world-class road racing course right here in central Iowa.

    It hosted several big-time races in it's history, including some SCCA races, and a USRRC (Can-Am series now) race. There was even a USAC race there during 1965.

    The guys who raced on it read like a who's who of racing in the 60s. Ed Leslie, Chuck Parsons, Ken Miles, Al Unser etc.

    Greenwood Roadway

    Google Maps

    Greenwood Roadway - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    It has fallen into disrepair, and is currently occupied by construction equipment. It appears that financial difficulties put it under, but I find it a very interesting little piece of central Iowa history that I knew nothing about until I was poking around looking for information about the Des Moines Grand Prix.


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    Re: Greenwood Roadway

    That looks made for a MotoGP race. I can dream...



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    Re: Greenwood Roadway

    Wow, great find.



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    Re: Greenwood Roadway

    Believe it or not, I have raced on this track! It is pretty torn up, but my family is involved in the Iowa British Car Club based out of the DM area. There are random events every once in a while and we went out to Greenwood about 2 years ago. There is actually a member who has a handful of old Triumphs (TR-3's I believe) who raced there in the day. His name is Chuck Maguire. Either way, crazy you brought that up, but it sure was fun, even though the condition is awful.



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    Re: Greenwood Roadway

    I remember my dad telling me about it when I was little... he made mention of it every time we went down to the lake. Sounds like it was a lot of fun... to bad it's just another little piece of history Indianola let die.


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    Re: Greenwood Roadway

    Nifty



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    Re: Greenwood Roadway

    I'd forgotten all about this racetrack but my uncle from Indianapolis and my dad took me to a race there when I was a kid. Probably that 1964 race. I noticed Jim Hall was third in that race and years later his Chaparral (the yellow submarine) won the Indianapolis 500 with Johnny Rutherford driving. That was in 1980 but the year before Al Unser Sr drove the Chaparral and was running away with the 500 when something broke on the car. I can't remember what broke so I'll have to look it up.
    Jim Hall was an innovator and his Chaparral was one of the early ground effects racecars.

    Good find Jumbo!! Thanks, it brings back memories!!!


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    Re: Greenwood Roadway

    Quote Originally Posted by TaDelt View Post
    Believe it or not, I have raced on this track! It is pretty torn up, but my family is involved in the Iowa British Car Club based out of the DM area. There are random events every once in a while and we went out to Greenwood about 2 years ago. There is actually a member who has a handful of old Triumphs (TR-3's I believe) who raced there in the day. His name is Chuck Maguire. Either way, crazy you brought that up, but it sure was fun, even though the condition is awful.
    Awesome story! I saw that Living in Iowa did a piece about it a few years back. Touring car racing is something that I just love to watch.

    Quote Originally Posted by wesley_w View Post
    I'd forgotten all about this racetrack but my uncle from Indianapolis and my dad took me to a race there when I was a kid. Probably that 1964 race. I noticed Jim Hall was third in that race and years later his Chaparral (the yellow submarine) won the Indianapolis 500 with Johnny Rutherford driving. That was in 1980 but the year before Al Unser Sr drove the Chaparral and was running away with the 500 when something broke on the car. I can't remember what broke so I'll have to look it up.
    Jim Hall was an innovator and his Chaparral was one of the early ground effects racecars.

    Good find Jumbo!! Thanks, it brings back memories!!!
    Great story Wesley. I was reminiscing about the olden days of Indy (well - olden to me - I don't remember much before the mid 80s) with a guy I was on a plane with who is a race engineer for a Formula Mazda team. We both agreed that the current spec cars just aren't nearly as much fun to watch as the craziness that they used to drag out in the past. The Chaparral is a great example of that.

    All the innovation seems to have been axed in the name of cost-savings and "better racing". Ovals just aren't the same as a winding, hilly course.


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    Re: Greenwood Roadway

    Quote Originally Posted by dmclone View Post
    That looks made for a MotoGP race. I can dream...
    In the wikipedia article, it says that there was at least one AMA National Championship race there.

    After digging a bit, it seems that the USAC race they held there in the early spring of '65 tore the track up pretty bad. Probably the ground was still soft from the winter, and I'm sure the asphalt surface wasn't terribly thick, and those beastly stock cars were just too much for it to handle.

    My guess is that the repairs to the course, coupled with anemic attendance, would have sunk it into debt it could never have crawled out of.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dd8Q4Op58wk]YouTube - Greenwood Roadway - Sunbeam Tiger[/ame] is a video of a "lap" from sometime last fall

    It looks like that track would have been a TON of fun to drive around in it's heyday. I can certainly see that spectator access could be a problem, though.


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    Re: Greenwood Roadway

    That is a cool video. That asphalt is a mess. Not a very wide track, and there are a number of trees just feet off the pavement. Would have made for some pretty tense passing situations.



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    Re: Greenwood Roadway

    Wow, this is really neat. It would be cool if someone had the funds to restore it.



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    Re: Greenwood Roadway

    Here's a map link so you can see the full layout:

    Google Maps



  13. #13
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    Re: Greenwood Roadway

    Quote Originally Posted by ianoconnor View Post
    Wow, this is really neat. It would be cool if someone had the funds to restore it.
    It appears that there have been some attempts to do so. International Union of Operating Engineers Local 234's apprenticeship program owns the property as it is, and they do not seem overly interested in interrupting their program with people showing up to race cars all the time. I can't say that I blame them.

    Though what better job for heavy equipment operators than to repave a 3 mile track? :D

    Maybe someone could raise money to pay for the materials and have them pave it as part of their apprenticeship. Who knows. It would be terribly cool to see it back in it's original glory.


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    Re: Greenwood Roadway

    Quote Originally Posted by SplitIdentity View Post
    I remember my dad telling me about it when I was little... he made mention of it every time we went down to the lake. Sounds like it was a lot of fun... to bad it's just another little piece of history Indianola let die.
    you mean Liberty Center



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    Re: Greenwood Roadway

    Quote Originally Posted by anticyclonic View Post
    you mean Liberty Center
    The first link says Indianola.


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